From the moment you wake up in the morning until you retire to bed at night, you rely on your eyes to see. Besides helping you see, your eyes also contribute to your appearance. You may have even heard that your “eyes are the windows to the soul.” Interestingly, your eyes may also be windows to the state of your health.
Some subtle changes to your eyes can signal serious health issues. Unfortunately, these changes may not be detected by you or your general practitioner. Therefore, scheduling an annual visit to your eye doctor is crucial. The following eye signs might mean your health is at risk.
Has anyone ever told you that you have bulging eyes? You may have noticed and joked about having bug eyes when looking at photographs of yourself. While protruding eyes is a unique trait you inherited, it may be a sign of Grave’s disease. This serious medical problem is a type of hyperthyroidism.
If you suffer from Grave’s disease, your body manufactures too many of its thyroid hormones. Besides bulging eyes, Grave’s disease can also lead to experiencing an irregular heartbeat, fatigue, unplanned weight loss, changes in menstrual cycles in women and erectile dysfunction in men.
According to WebMD, medicines or surgery can help regulate the amount of hormone your thyroid produces. Unfortunately, they won’t cure the underlying disease. They might also not help your eyes.
Gray Ring around the Cornea
The cornea is a curved, clear surface at the front of your eye. It helps you focus on objects. Sometimes, people develop a gray line on the outside edge of their cornea. The line may form a complete ring. This phenomena, known as corneal senilis, results from the development of fat deposits in your eye.
According to CBS News, corneal senilis is often an indicator of high cholesterol and elevated triglycerides, which both increase your risk for succumbing to a heart attack or stroke. If you have this condition, you should undergo a blood test to check for high blood lipids. This is especially vital for people who are under the age of 60.
Drooping eyelids may signal more than having a recent bout with insomnia. This occurrence is also a symptom of myasthenia gravis. This medical issue causes your immune system to attack and weaken your muscles. Often, your eye, throat, and facial muscles are affected the most.
Having myasthenia gravis can make chewing, swallowing, or even speaking problematic. Treatments for this condition include filtering your blood, taking medication, and surgery to remove your thymus gland.
Blurred vision can be a sign of diabetes. When this common disease isn’t well managed, diabetic retinopathy can develop. Diabetic retinopathy happens when small blood vessels in your eyes leak blood and other fluids.
In addition to having blurred vision, you might experience difficulty seeing clearly at night. To help seal the leaks and remove unwanted new blood vessels, physicians can utilize a laser. While this procedure can save your central vision, it might adversely affect your side vision.
If you experience a sudden and dramatic episode of blurred vision, you may have a problem with the blood flow to your eye or your brain. Seeking medical attention as quickly as possible might prevent serious damage or save your life. Even if your vision improves quickly, the occurrence may still be an indicator of a stroke or the onset of a migraine headache.
Yellow Whites of Eyes
Besides blurred vision, yellow deposits in your eyes is another sign of diabetes. Small yellow spots in your eyes can also be caused from sun damage. Undergoing a minor procedure can remove the unsightly blemishes resulting from basking in the sun.
If both your skin and your eyes appear yellow, you have the condition known as jaundice. Jaundice is typically an indicator of liver problems. It results from having high levels of bilirubin, a substance your liver produces more of when it’s damaged or inflamed. Popular causes of liver damage include chronic alcohol abuse, a poor diet, cancer, and infection. Depending on the severity, medications, lifestyle changes, or transplants are used to treat liver damage.
If your vision appears cloudy, you might have cataracts. Cataracts are common in older people. When younger people develop them, an underlying health problem such as diabetes or a tumor might be to blame. If you have a cataract, a simple surgical procedure can remove your eye’s natural, cloudy lens and replace it with a clear, artificial one.
If maintaining optimal health is at the top of your list of priorities, start giving your eyes the attention they deserve. Periodically analyze them for any noticeable changes. Even more importantly, don’t skip your annual eye exam with a trusted ophthalmologist.
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